Mental Health Awareness Week: A Spotlight on the Construction Industry
This year, Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from the 13 to 19 May and is a chance to raise awareness of mental wellbeing in the workplace. UK employers are facing a serious challenge from mental health related issues in the workplace, which is now the single biggest cause of absence amongst workers, not to mention the estimated cost to businesses.
Nearly one third of workers surveyed in the construction industry have taken time off work due to mental health issues and over 400,000 working days are lost each year*.
During the annual Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Construction Conference in October 2018, improved mental health support for construction workers was identified as a priority area.
Kevin Fear, H&S Strategy Lead from the Construction Industry Training Board described poor mental health in the construction industry as ‘the silent epidemic’. He described how work-related stress, depression and anxiety have now surpassed musculoskeletal disorders as the most reported workplace health issue in the construction sector.
The construction industry now reports more suicides than any other profession, with 454 construction workers taking their own lives in 2016 (PBC Today, 2018).
Managing Mental Health at Work
We all have mental health; like physical health it naturally fluctuates between thriving and struggling, being well and being too ill to work. An individual can have a serious mental health problem but with the right support can still be thriving at work.
The government-commissioned ‘Thriving at Work’ report by Stevenson and Farmer, 2017 states that:
“At a time when there is national focus on productivity the inescapable conclusion is that it is massively in the interest of both employers and Government to prioritise and invest far more in improving mental health”
The report identified a set of actions (core standards) which all organisations in the country can implement quickly. These include:
- encouraging open conversations about mental health and the support available when people are struggling.
- providing employees with good working conditions and ensuring they have a healthy work life balance and opportunities for development.
- promoting effective people management through line managers and supervisors.
- routinely monitoring employee mental health and wellbeing.
- developing mental health awareness among employees.
- ensuring provision of tailored in-house mental health support and signposting to clinical help when necessary.
How our mental wellbeing and resilience courses can help
The law requires employers to tackle work-related stress**. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) outlines these six core standards for managing mental health at work. Our courses are directly relevant to and reflect these recommended standards.
Our mental wellbeing and resilience courses are designed to build both team and individual resilience and to help staff members return to and maintain a state of positive mental wellbeing.
By taking a positive approach to mental wellbeing in the workplace, your organisation can benefit from:
- more engaged and motivated staff
- reduction in absence
- increased productivity and staff retention
- improved professional reputation
- more satisfied customers.
Watch our “Spotlight on Stress” video and share it with your teams, this Mental Health Awareness Week.
Make a positive difference in your workplace. Find out about how our six short, interactive, mental wellbeing and resilience courses could benefit your team by enquiring below or calling 0845 287 6144.
*Construction News 2018 mental health survey/Health and Safety Executive